Day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket on Saturday 9th October undoubtedly belonged to trainer Charlie Appleby as he sent out three winners in the famous royal blue silks of Godolphin.
Native Trail maintained his unbeaten record in the feature Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes and heads into the winter as a warm favourite for the 2022 QIPCO 2000 Guineas back on the Rowley Mile.
Appleby admitted that he finds it difficult to separate Native Trail from Coroebus, winner of the Group Three Emirates Autumn Stakes, while Goldspur looks more of a contender for the Cazoo Derby as he made it two wins from as many starts in the Group Three Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes.
Elsewhere on the card, champion jockey Oisin Murphy handed Nicky Henderson a third victory in the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch Heritage Handicap as he guided Buzz to success.
We sent Graham Clark along to speak to the winners on the day….
“FANTASTIC HORSE” NATIVE TRAIL MAKES IT FOUR FROM FOUR WITH IMPRESSIVE DARLEY DEWHURST STAKES SUCCESS
Charlie Appleby believes he has a “fantastic horse” on his hands for next year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas in Native Trail who advanced his Classic credentials when maintaining his unbeaten record in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
Boasting a perfect record entering the seven-furlong feature on day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival, the Oasis Dream colt extended his winning run when staying on powerfully to follow up his National Stakes success at the Curragh and make it back-to-back Group One victories.
Sitting midfield through the early part of the race the 5-6 favourite just had to be nudged along by William Buick to maintain his position close to the stands side rail as leader, and eventual runner-up Dubawi Legend, travelled powerfully up front.
With many of his rivals starting to come under pressure it looked as though Dubawi Legend had slipped his rivals after skipping clear under James Doyle approaching the final furlong.
Though one of the first to come off the bridle Native Trail responded in perfect fashion under Buick and as the pair hit the rising ground they picked up Dubawi Legend before pulling clear to score by two lengths.
Appleby, registering a 10.5-1 treble on the day, said: “It is one of those occasions walking around the paddock where you gain more confidence as I thought he was just the stand out.
“Full credit to all the team at home who have done a fantastic job. It is a big team effort and to have the result we have had today is huge.
“Most importantly, I think we have got a fantastic horse on our hands for next year’s 2000 Guineas. On the back of Coroebus as well we are in a very fortunate position to be going into the winter with two fantastic colts.
“He came in at 540kgs from the breeze-ups and full credit to the team that purchased him and Norman Williamson who consigned him.
“I was confident when William moved out and came the right hand side of James that he got enough daylight. Once he met the rising ground, there was one thing he wasn’t going to do and that was stop galloping.
“It was a very similar race to what we saw in the National Stakes. That acceleration once he is given office is quite remarkable.
“On his work at home prior to the National Stakes, you wouldn’t have been getting too excited but he is that sort of a horse that warms into a race and does it all the right way round and that is what we saw today.
“I was confident once I saw William giving him the office that he would pick up well. We will now look forward to the winter and look forward to the spring.
“I can’t see him going any further than a mile personally but I like to be proven wrong. He is a horse that will go in to the winter as an exciting Guineas horse.”
Appleby has been in a similar position with Pinatubo, who rounded off an unbeaten two year old campaign with victory in the 2019 Dewhurst, however the Classic-winning handler feels he is dealing with two different types.
He said: “He has more scope than Pinatubo who was a set two year old. I’ve always felt this horse was a man against the boys.
“He has got a bit more stature to himself. They are two different animals and pedigrees.
“This one going into the winter you would say has got a slightly better profile than Pinatubo but that is up for discussion and debate.”
Although Appleby was delighted with the display of Native Trail he believes in Coroebus, who secured victory in the Autumn Stakes 35 minutes earlier, he has an equally solid QIPCO 2000 Guineas candidate.
He said: “I think with Coroebus we have seen two exciting colts. For the whole team and for Sheikh Mohammed it is great to have these two year olds.
“I’ve never put them anywhere near each other at home. He is a harder horse to assess. Coroebus has been there from the get go. He travels for fun and we could have ran him in a maiden in May and he would have bolted up.
“This horse does it in a different manner and thankfully we have seen that in the last half an hour.
“Between myself and William we do slightly different. I do like Coroebus. He is a supreme traveller.
“But you cannot fault what this horse has done. He was three from three and does it in that fashion.
“As three year olds when something might have got stronger and the pace of the race gets quicker in races like the Classics one thing you have got to do is travel and that is what Coroebus does in abundance.
“He has got so much cruising speed and you can never take him off the bridle before the two pole. That is just my opinion and I’m just delighted to have these two horses for myself and the team.”
COROEBUS GETS BACK ON TRACK WITH EMPHATIC SUCCESS IN EMIRATES AUTUMN STAKES
Coroebus furthered strengthened trainer Charlie Appleby’s impressive two year old team after thrusting into contention for next year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas with an impressive success in the Emirates Autumn Stakes.
After being collared late on when looking all over the winner of the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at the track 14 days ago the Dubawi colt was not to be denied on this occasion when proving a class above his rivals in the mile Group Three contest.
Held on to much longer by William Buick on this occasion, the 4-5 favourite burst through down the centre of the track to take command of affairs entering the final quarter of a mile.
Quickening clear in a matter of strides the odds-on favourite was not for catching under Buick with the pair leaving their rivals toiling in behind before passing the post two lengths clear of runner-up Imperial Fighter.
Victory for Coroebus was a third win in the race for Newmarket handler Appleby, who saddled One Ruler to glory in the race 12 months ago, having previously sent out subsequent Group One scorer Ghaiyyath to glory in the 2017 renewal.
Appleby, recording a 5.3-1 double following the victory of Goldspur in the preceding Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes, said: “It wasn’t anybody’s fault in the Royal Lodge. It is easy to sit in the stands and say William should have done this, that and the other.
“This horse is very much learning on the job and he took William by surprise with that acceleration and we have seen it again today.
“If you asked William he would have probably said he wished he would have sat a bit longer again.
“People questioned why we were coming back as quick as we have done but I didn’t want to run this horse on soft ground at the back end in the Vertem Futurity Trophy or the Horris Hill.
“I wanted to come up here on good ground. We were confident we were going to win on the back of what we saw in the Royal Lodge and on what we have seen at home.
“He is a horse that has always been exciting in the spring. He was doing stuff that he shouldn’t have been doing for the size of him.
“We had to bite our own tongues not to run him before we did. He is rewarding us for being patient.”
An outing in the Craven Stakes back at the track next year could be next on the agenda for Coroebus before tackling the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, which he was trimmed to 5-1 for by both Coral and Paddy Power.
Appleby added: “We wanted him to come up here and gain some more experience on the track. He will be put away now and look forwards to the spring.
“Most definitely we will look at the 2000 Guineas. We will probably take in a trial in the spring. There is no reason why we won’t come down the proven route of the Craven and work our way from there.”
GOLDSPUR ENTERS RECKONING FOR 2022 CAZOO DERBY WITH GUTSY SUCCESS IN GROUP THREE GODOLPHIN FLYING START ZETLAND STAKES
Trainer Charlie Appleby appeared to unearth another potential candidate for next year’s Cazoo Derby after Goldspur maintained his unbeaten record in tenacious fashion in the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes.
Having been withdrawn from the Cazoo Derby “Wild Card” EBF Conditions Stakes at Epsom Downs last month after becoming unruly in the stalls, the Dubawi colt looked a reformed character in today’s Group Three prize when taking both a step up in class and trip in his stride.
Making a sharp exit from the stalls under James Doyle the well supported 5-2 chance cut out much of the running in the mile and a quarter contest together with his stablemate, and 6-4 favourite Hafit, before being joined at the two furlong pole by Unconquerable.
It looked as though Goldspur was going to have to settle for a place at best as both Unconquerable and Hafit edged marginally ahead entering the final furlong, but with one late lunge the last time out Sandown Park scorer got up almost on the line to score by a head.
Appleby said: “He was a very impressive winner at Sandown on very soft ground. As it happens, the form hasn’t particularly worked out great from it.
“You couldn’t be any more impressed with the way he did it. We were concerned whether he was a soft ground specialist.
“We went to Epsom for the win and you're in ticket but unfortunately he got very worked up in the preliminaries beforehand and he took that down to the gate and just before the off decided to put both front feet over and was automatically withdrawn at the start.
“He went down to post knowing that he was the boss on the day and he got worked up with whole rigmarole of it all. As we know Epsom can do that but not normally on quiet meeting.
“The team at home have done a great job. I was keen to get him here and they had to get the stalls test done within the week and he passed that with flying colours. He had the red hood on there to make sure he was calm and collected today.
“It was a great ride by James as they got racing from a little way out there so it was a matter of stamina that kicked in at the end and on that evidence he has got plenty of it.
“Stepping up in trip was always going to seek further improvement. Coming into today the only concern on the evidence on the Sandown race was whether it was going to be an ordinary race or if he was a horse that found an extra leg on soft ground but he has gone and proven himself on good ground today.
Assessing future plans Appleby has not ruled out given Goldspur, who was trimmed to 16-1 for the Cazoo Derby by Paddy Power and 20-1 for the same race by William Hill, an outing in the Group One Criterium de Saint Cloud before the season is out.
He said: “It is a possible as it will be bottomless ground over in Saint Cloud for the International but he is a horse that is for next year so there is no immediate plans.
“He has only come forward of late and it is all about next year with him. We will start him off in a trial in the spring.
“I think that he could make up into a Derby horse as he has definitely got the page for it and he is done nothing wrong at the moment apart from one little blip which has been ironed out.”
BUZZ HANDS WELCOME BOOST TO OISIN MURPHY WITH VICTORY IN TOGETHER FOR RACING INTERNATIONAL CESAREWITCH
Oisin Murphy admitted it was “great to get some confidence back” following one of the most difficult 24 hours of his career after steering Buzz to glory in the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch Heritage Handicap.
The dual Champion Jockey was forced to miss his book of rides at the Rowley Mile on Friday having being stood down by stewards at the track after failing a pre-racing breath test for alcohol.
Having been out of luck on his four previous mounts on the card Murphy, who is currently on course to claim a third champion jockey title, finally struck gold aboard the Nicky Henderson-trained seven year old.
Making his first start since finishing second in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle at the Randox Grand National Festival in April, the gelded son of Motivator showed he was ready to roll on his first start in 184 days in the two and a quarter mile test.
Pressing on with eventual runner-up Burning Victory, who was attempting to give trainer Willie Mullins a record-equalling fourth success in the race, the 8-1 chance dug deep when it mattered most before securing victory by a length and a half.
Murphy, enjoying his first success in the historic marathon, said: “I think Nicky had planned this out from his last race over jumps last season so it was five months’ worth of planning.
“He was very good and he travelled through them. The lad leading him up has been riding him out the last couple of years. We have lots of mutual friends and they all fancied him so it was a great result.
“I hadn’t sat on him and there was no excuse but we have been so busy with Andrew’s horses we haven’t had a chance but he was top on the day.
“The other horse kicked first and it is such a long way home here but he stays well and that is the key.
“I shouldn’t be making mistakes like that yesterday. It is great to get some confidence back but I should know better.
“I’m very sorry to everyone. I’m not faultless and I’ve got to do better. It shouldn’t happen I’m sorry to everyone.”
Dreams of victory at the Cheltenham Festival are on the minds of winning connections who hope that Buzz can now develop into a candidate for the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle next March.
Connections of Buzz were not the only ones celebrating after his victory also secured a five figure cash windfall for the the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity benefit, which will receive 25 per cent of the prize money.
Jess Stafford, spokeswoman for owners Thurloe Thoroughbreds, said: “He is a proper horse. There is the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, the race at Wetherby the West Yorkshire Hurdle, He is a proper horse and has turned a corner.
“He is very relaxed now and he doesn’t get as fizzed up as he used to. Nicky’s horses are flying and I was confident when it was good to soft early in the week.
“He has got all the big targets for him hurdling this season. He was turned out and came back with this race in mind and he was well in.
“He is a proper Grade One/Two level hurdler. On the back of the Aintree Hurdle effort we have to work back from the Stayers’ Hurdle.
“He is only seven going eight. I think he has got a huge future
“The most important thing is that 25 per cent of the prize money goes to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.”
Trainer Nicky Henderson was winning his third Cesarewitch, following Landing Light (2003) and Caracciola (2008).
GOSDEN LOOKS TO THE FUTURE WITH MOSTAHDAF FOLLOWING GROUP THREE DARLEY STAKES TRIUMPH
John Gosden believes Mostahdaf is very much a “next year horse” after continuing his progression with a decisive success in the Darley Stakes.
The Frankel colt, homebred by Shadwell, made it five wins from six starts this season when opening his account at Pattern race level on his first start beyond a mile in today’s Group Three contest.
Travelling smoothly into contention on the outside of the field the 3-1 chance, who Gosden trains in partnership with his son Thady, quickly strode clear when sent on by Jim Crowley.
Appearing to appreciate the step up to nine furlongs Mostahdaf only needed to be kept up to his work to defeat last month’s Cambridgeshire winner Bedouin’s Story by a length and three quarters.
John Gosden said: “He hasn’t done a lot wrong. He got boxed in during the St James’s Palace Stakes and that was the end of it.
“We’ve always thought of him as a mile and a quarter horse. His half-sister (Nazeef) won two Group One races at a mile. She was by Invincible Spirit and he is by Frankel so we are pretty confident a mile and a quarter is his best trip.
“I was going to leave him in the Champion Stakes but I got over ruled by the management and that is why he is here today.
“He would go on good to firm and good to soft he just wouldn’t want it firm. He is a classy horse who is probably a next year horse.
“There is the Bahrain International Trophy but we will talk about it with everybody and we will see how we want to play it.
“We always felt he is a bit of a horse for next year. Nazeef did exceptionally well as a four year old. She went from a Chelmsford handicap to winning two Group Ones at four and not many do that. You do look at the family trait.”